On Friday, the largest cyber attack in history took place. The attack was on computers with Microsoft Windows installed on them.
The general lines of the attack must already be familiar. About 100 countries have been attacked, including Russia, Britain, Turkey, Japan, Vietnam and probably other countries along the way, such as Israel. The attack affected the health services in the UK and at least another 57,000 computers, mainly because of the fact that in most cases these computers are not up to date.
The malware that carried out the attack was stolen from the NSA, and needs to be investigated in depth. Microsoft last March updated its operating system with a blocking of the same malware, so every computer that has been updated over the past two months is protected from such attack. As noted above, this is the reason that most of the victims are government organizations and health services, which therefore do not update their computers frequently.
The malware takes over the computer and encrypts it and the files on it until the release of the attackers. In this case, demand ranges from $300 per computer (think about 57,000 computers) or pay in Bitcoin. From that moment on, with the exception of shutting down all the computers that were attacked, there are not many things one can do, the immediate consequences are the complete shutdown of those organizations. The use of the word catastrophe may be a bit extreme, but be aware of what happened in England, where hospitals stopped operations, stopped receiving patients, and chaos dominated the hospital system, which did not know how to react.
The dreadful scenarios we talk about every so often has begun to take shape. This attack will cost hundreds of billions in the overall amount, and the race to check the damage will be long. It is difficult to know what details were stolen from computers around the world.
In contrast to many cases in which companies are attacked to steal user information, which is serious in itself, this is the life of people, the danger of such attacks is human life.
It is difficult to say whether the attack could have been completely prevented, but if the hospitals had invested not only in good doctors but also in IT personnel, the modern equipment and computers used by the hospitals are connected to these networks and organizations, no different from any other business. It was possible to reduce the extent of the damage, or at least be prepared for this situation.
Hospitals need to keep the most important information in services like BlackBerry Workspaces and use safer and more secure tools such as the UEM BlackBerry. An organization that does not invest in information security will apparently invest in many payments due to the damage it will suffer.